No Fear captures ASHA Award
By Shannon "Sugar" Doyle
No Fear, owned by Bill Andrew, George Rogers and Jim MacPhail, captured the Champion Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding award at the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association (ASHA) awards banquet on Saturday, February 9. Going up against Western Canada Pacing Derby winner Sharkalucchi, in the open category, No Fear, trained by Sandford Campbell, put together a 7-5-5 record from 22 starts, with $56,269 earned in 2012. His 1:53 victory in the $50,000 Brad Gunn, on July 27 stood out as the highlight moment from his 2012 campaign.
Kelly Hoerdt, who finished in the runner-up position behind PEI's Marc Campbell for the 2012 O'Brien Award of Horsemanship, had a big night at the banquet. Hoerdt claimed both the Horseperson and the Trainer of the Year awards, and shared Owner of the Year honours with partner Blair Corbeil. Rookie Colt Premium Attaction and Aged Mare, River Lass, owned by Hoerdt and Corbeil, were standouts in their categories and took home top honours as well.
Two-year-olds in training
Annie and John Chappell, Edmonton:
Ultimate Cracker, F (As Promised-Ultimate Adventure)
Dave Lamont, Airdrie:
Starrbucks Lildude, C, (Lil Dude Starrbuck-Real Fool); Lil Dudes Cupcake, F (Mr Big-Ideal Sunrise); Lucha Vavoom, C (No Pan Intended-Sugar Park); Full Moon Dodger, C (Brandons Cowboy-Domestic Bliss); Firstforthegirls, F (Brandons Cowboy-On The Fly)
Meridian Farms, Calgary:
Book My Flite, F (Jeremes Jet-Book Smart); Drawing A Dream, F (Artistic Fella-JK Fantasy; Lone Rider, C, (Brandons Cowboy-Presidents Lady); One Large Night, F (Mister Big-Hot Night); Triple Action, F (Brandons Cowboy-The Three Of Us); Venice Beach, F (Allamerican Native-Venus Blue Chip)
Clayton Taylor, Calgary:
Cams Cool Shark, C (Camystic-Cool Shark); Mystical Lynette, F (Camystic-Go Go Lynette); Thinkin N Drinkin, C (Camystic-Think Mink); Minettas J M, C (Lusty Leader-Hillbilly Highway)
Talks still continue with all parties involved in the Century Casino/Racetrack proposed for Balzac, which is 10 minutes north of Calgary. The word, and hope, is that a track will open there for harness racing in the summer of 2014.
I heard recently that there is no deal in place, as of yet, for on-track stabling this fall at Northlands Park in Edmonton. Harness racing ends here on March 10 and will return again on October 25. Of course, with on-track stabling, the costs are kept way down for the smaller racing outfits.
Wagering appears to be on or at about the same level as this time last year, with our Friday evening cards taking in about $80,000 and Saturday afternoon's hitting in the $100,000 range.
Former Ontario fast-class pacer Mr Saratoga has come out of retirement to face Alberta's best. John Chappell drove Mr Saratoga to a second place finish against open pacers on Saturday, February 9. Mr Saratoga was originally brought to Alberta last spring to stand stud. The winner of almost $700,000 in earnings last raced at Woodbine in late 2011.
Roughrider visits the “eye in the sky”
I had a visit from my pal, Tristan Jackson of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, recently at Northlands Park. “TJ”was still very much excited about the January news of wide receiver Geroy Simon being traded to the Riders from the BC Lions.
Last year at about this time Jackson was jogging horses on the backstretch at Northlands Park, but this year he's in Northern Alberta working the pipeline to supplement his income. In March he plans on helping out with the horses at Kelly Hoerdt's Bedrock operation before heading back to Saskatchewan for training camp in June.
For the second year in a row TJ found himself in the runner-up spot for TSN's CFL Play of the Year. His 129-yard missed field goal return for a touchdown, during a game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the BC Lions, set him in the number two spot behind Weston Dressler’s week four diving touchdown catch.
Jagr still has it
I recently had the pleasure of taking in an Oilers game at Rexall Place, as they played host to the Dallas Stars. Our group made it there early and we were able to make it down to ice level for the warm-ups. Even though we were cheering for the Oilers all night, it was still pretty exciting to see one of the all-time greats, Jaromir Jagr, scoring in overtime to give the visitors the win. After signing with Dallas last July, Jagr mentioned that the Montreal Canadiens had been his first choice as a free agent. Jagr was quoted as saying, “I always wanted to play in Canada and I wanted to go to Montreal if I had a chance, but Montreal wasn't interested.”